NAACP Celebrates Passage of “Ban the Box” in Minnesota

The NAACP applauds the Minnesota House of Representatives for passing a bill to prohibit employers from asking about criminal history on initial employment applications. Once signed into law, the bill will make Minnesota the third state in the nation to “ban the box” for both public and private employers.

NAACP President and CEO Ben Jealous stated,

“As Americans we believe in second chances and we believe that work is redemptive. This is a victory for Minnesota. This bill makes it possible for thousands of parents who have made a mistake and paid their price to one day get a job, get their children out of foster care, and pull their lives and their families back together.”

President of the St.Paul NAACP and Political Action Chair for the Minnesota-Dakota NAACP State Conference Jeff Martin said,

“This is not only a victory for prospective job applicants; it is also a victory for employers. Once this bill is put into law, employers will have access to a labor pool that fully represents what is available in Minnesota, rather than a filtered down version. This is just one step toward eliminating employment discrimination in a state that still has a long way to go. But now people with records will be able to sit across the table from a hiring employer and make their case.”

The NAACP was part of a coalition that included Take Action Minnesota’s “Justice 4 All Campaign”, The Counsel on Crime and Justice and other groups.

The bill passed the Minnesota House of Representatives by a margin of 107 to 26. It now heads to Governor Mark Dayton for his signature. Last week, Maryland’s governor signed a bill to “ban the box” for state employers.

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